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Elaine Burdette
Elaine Burdette tends to a customer at her grooming business.

WIA Grooms Burdette for Business Success

Elaine Burdette bounced back from recession hardship and into a “cutting edge” new business, thanks to Workforce Investment Act (WIA) training.

WIA paid for Elaine, 46, to train to be a pet groomer, and she has used that training to start the Nuttin’ Butta Houndog Styling and Grooming Boutique in Corbin.

The WIA program is administered in 23 eastern Kentucky counties by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) and is provided locally by the KCEOC Community Action Partnership.

At KCEOC, WIA Career Adviser Rebecca Napier helped Elaine take her lifelong love of animals and develop a plan to turn it into a career. Then she helped Elaine get WIA help paying for the training that would let her put that plan into action.
With WIA help she was able to attend a 15-week course at the Nash Academy of Animal Arts in Lexington and is now happy in a job that she loves.

“I can never thank Rebecca and WIA enough for reaching out to me and helping me,” said Elaine, who opened her shop in December.

Before finding out about WIA, Elaine had found herself in a tough spot due to the recent recession. An injury caused her to lose her job working with people with intellectual disabilities and she found it very hard to get back to work.

Fortunately, Elaine heard about the WIA services available through KCEOC.

Elaine said she feels more secure now that she has grooming skills because “people are always going to take care of their pets.”

She said she takes a lot pride in helping people take care of these cherished companions.

“People that love animals are good people,” she said.

Rebecca said she is happy to see Elaine embrace her new career.

"It has been an amazing opportunity working with Elaine and seeing her transition into a professional and a business owner,” Rebecca said.

Joyce Hickey, WIA program manager at KCEOC, said Elaine’s story is an example of how WIA can help people turn difficult moments into triumphs.

"I think it is wonderful that WIA can help make dreams come true.  We are here to encourage and help people like Elaine and let them know that anything is possible," Joyce said.

KCEOC in Barbourville is an access point for the services of the JobSight network, a collaborative partnership of workforce and training agencies administered by EKCEP in 23 mountain Kentucky counties.

For more information on Workforce Investment Act services available in Knox County, call 606-546-2639. Or visit or


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